Relives His Dreadful Experience in Last Hours of Delirium
ONE OF TWO WHO SANK
"We Must Get Them (Women and Children) All Into Boats!" Is His Cry
Col. Archibald Gracie, U. S A., retired, died yesterday in his apartment at
the Hotel St. Louis, 34 East Thirty-second street, after a brief illness in
which he repeatedly, in delirium, recalled the terrible scenes when the
Titanic went down last April. He was a passenger on the ship and was one of
the two who were actually carried beneath the surface when the vessel
plunged to her doom. He was saved after spending the night with twenty-nine
others on a bit of floating wreckage, but he never recovered from the shock
of the disaster and has been a nervous invalid since.
His death is ascribed to several ailments by the physicians who attended
him, but his wife and daughter, Miss Edith, who were with him when he died,
believe that it was due directly to the physical and mental efforts of the
Titanic horiror [sic]. At the last, when it was seen he had but a few hours
to live, he kept calling out imaginary orders to the men on the ship to save
the women and children.
"We must get them all into the boats," was his frequent cry.
The memory of the sinking ship was kept alive in Col. Gracie's mind by his
work on a book he had just completed. "The Truth About the Titanic" was the
title and it contained the result of much communication with other
survivors. The book is now in the hands of printers and will make its
appearance before long.
Col. Gracie had long been a resident of Washington, keeping apartments in
the Metropolitan Club and in Sixteenth street. He came to New York last week
for the début of his daughter, who was presented to society here on
Thanksgiving Day. The Colonel was even then in such condition that his wife
urged him to go away. He attended the affair, but was so exhausted
afterward that he was obliged to take to his bed.
Since then he has been growing steadily worse. His family had feared that
if he once gave way to the preying horror of the Titanic memories there
would be no hope for him, This proved to be true, for during the last few
days he thought and talked of little else.
When the Titanic plunged to the bottom Col. Gracie was carried down with
her. He said afterward he must have gone twenty-five feet beneath the
surface until he was catapulted back again. Near by he saw a lone man
unknown to him clinging to a small hatch in a sea of floating wreckage.
Helping each other, the two managed to get to a larger piece, where they
stayed until dawn brought the Carpathia. When she arrived they had pulled up
to safety with them twenty-eight others. All were suffering terribly from
exposure, for their weight, had sunk the raft until the water flowed knee
deep over it.
Col Gracie was the fifth of his line to bear the name of Archibald. The
first of the name was a contemporary of John Jacob Astor and Nathaniel
Prime, and the three were leading merchants of their day.
In 1890 Col Gracie married Miss Constance E. Schack at Calvary Church,
Fourth avenue and Twenty-first street. The funeral services will be held
there at 2 o'clock this afternoon.
Related Biographies:Archibald Gracie
AcknowledgementsOriginal article digitized by the New York Public Library
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,